Feb
06

Youkilis discusses batting stance changes

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Earlier this offseason we heard that new third baseman Kevin Youkilis was hard at work with hitting coach Kevin Long in an effort to improve his declining offensive production. His overall output dropped down to a 102 wRC+ last season, basically league average, after sitting at 126 wRC+ in 2011 and 159 wRC+ in 2010. Considering he’s going to turn 34 next month, Youkilis was wise to get together with Long and make some adjustments before the season.

Youkilis met up with Jack Curry recently and discussed the changes he’s been working on, specifically setting up with a wider base and lowering his hands. Both are pretty common “old player” adjustments that try to eliminate wasted movement and get the hitter into a hitting position sooner. Youkilis is a dead-pull hitter and as he gets older and his bat slows down, he’ll need to shorten his swing up somewhere to avoid popping up the other way or getting jammed inside. I’m not terribly optimistic, but I’m glad they’re making an effort to improve now rather than midseason.

Categories : Offense

24 Comments»

  1. DJ4K&Monterowasdinero says:

    White belt? A true downsider….

  2. Frigidevil says:

    I’ve gotta say a new batting stance would probably go a long way toward getting past my hatred of Youk, or as I have formerly called him, ‘THAT GODDAMN BOUNCING LUMBERJACK’.

  3. Wicked says:

    How come every old Beantown faht ends up on the Yankees? Can’t they find a coupla live ones or do they have to be paht of Red Sawx nation befaw they play out their days? When they gonna sign Papi? He got the right PED profile. And Peedee. Heck, his name spells PED. And then Lestah. Get your own dam fahm system. And you can have Aceves back. He can ride his bicycle in the South Bronx for all I care. If he tries that in Southie, he’ll be on the permanent disabled list, if you know what I mean. Go Sawx!

  4. Matt DiBari says:

    I guess that means he won’t be doing the pee pee dance anymore?

  5. Manny's BanWagon (formerly Andy Pettitte's Fibula) says:

    Kevin Long: “Youk, you realize that your batting stance makes you look like a total dick. Want some help with that?”

  6. Bertin Lefkovic says:

    Being able to hit to the opposite field, particularly for a right-handed hitter in Yankee Stadium, could be the difference between mediocrity and greatness for Youkilis this year. It would probably add 50 points to Texeira’s batting average and 100 points to his OPS if he could figure out a way to do it as well. Would Derek Jeter have been half the player that he has been if he was just a dead-pull hitter?

  7. Mike myers says:

    I don’t know why, but I still don’t believe he is actually on the team. It feels like a giant hoax. I can’t get my head around it.

  8. hmelawyer says:

    Your theory on improvement for Texeira may work except that Texeira doesn’t really have a problem when he is batting right-handed nor does he get enough at-bats right handed to make a 50 point different in BA and 100 point difference in OPS. Texeira’s problems are primarily as a left-hand batter (the heavy side of the split).

  9. TopChuckie says:

    Clean shaven and a new, normal, batting stance and he’s almost unrecognizable. If we could get him to change his name we could probably suppress the reality of this for a year. I think “Leo Nunez” or “Fausto Carmona” is available.

  10. jim p says:

    Somehow, he’s become much more likable than he used to be. Can’t think why.

    • Betty Lizard says:

      Well, he’s a Yankee now. :-)

      I hope he loses the mustache as well as the beard–he looks younger and much more attractive without them.

      I’ve actually enjoyed the two interviews with him I’ve seen this week. For me, this is a huge amount of progress from my “hate”.

      And if he hits the snot out of the ball I will fucking love him.

  11. Mike says:

    Thank god Kevin Long is helping him, we need another 150 strikeout batter with an all-or-nothing swing batting below 0.250 AVG / 0.320 OBP.

  12. Herby says:

    Youkilis has been fixed…sign him to a three year extension. NOW. oh wait it was by Kevin Long.
    It really didn’t appear to be any major tinkering other than getting his hands down lower.

  13. Horizonal Pinstripe says:

    The guy in the photo looks like a super senior trying without success to get loose on the driving range. Not exactly a physical specimen.

  14. velocitee says:

    Yannow, IDC what everyone else says, but there’s something about Youk I like. Maybe it’s that stance and no facial hair. Almost looks human.

    Other than that, if he eclipses anything ARod does (which is likely), I’ll send him an edible arrangement.

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